Trustees


Every charity is governed by a Board of Trustees; our Trustees are also directors of our limited company. Their role is all about governance, strategy and policy – in effect making sure that we do what we were set up to do. All our Trustees donate their expertise, skills and time on a voluntary basis – for which we are very grateful.

Sheena Basnayake

Sheena is the General Manager for HIV, GUM & Dermatology at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

She is a senior operations leader and a nurse by background, with 20 years’ post-registration experience gained developing and delivering evidence-based and patient-centred services within hospital and community settings. Her clinical expertise is in infectious diseases and public health. Sheena leads large teams to provide seamless, multi-professional, and specialist care. She is interested in leading and facilitating change, teaching multi-disciplinary stakeholders, and innovating and improving clinical practice.

Angela Byakwaga

Angela has a BA hons in Early Childhood Studies from Middlesex University and a PgCert in Public Health and Health Promotion from Southbank University. She has worked at the Mortimer Market Centre, one of Europe’s leading STI & HIV clinics, since 2006.

Angela Byakwaga

Jeremy Booth

Jeremy Booth was Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for over twenty years,and is a past president of the section of Emergency Medicine at the Royal Society of Medicine .He has a particular interest in people who find access to healthcare difficult such as those with mental health issues and with the homeless and disadvantaged.
He has lectured extensively in North America and Australasia on Emergency Medicine ,particularly on trauma ,and has been an advisor to the Department of International Development on the management of major incidents in the British Overseas Territories.

Nimrod Ben Cnaan

Nimrod is head of policy and profile at the Law Centres Network, the national body of practices providing free legal assistance to disadvantaged people. A former academic, he was awarded a PhD in European Studies by University College London (UCL). He has been volunteering with HIV projects in Israel and the UK since the late 1990s.

Mark Bower

Mark is a consultant medical oncologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and Professor at Imperial College who specialises in the treatment of AIDS related malignancies. He has developed one of the largest centres for the management of these tumours in Europe, receiving referrals from throughout the UK and has cared for over 3,000 patients with HIV-associated cancers. His clinical research covers the epidemiology, aetiology, pathogenesis and management of these tumours. He has a laboratory programme studying the immunopathology of these tumours in collaboration with a number of basic scientists. He is a scientific advisor to UNAIDS

Pepe Catalan

Pepe Catalan

Pepe worked for 26 years as an NHS Consultant in General Hospital Psychiatry (CNWL NHS Foundation Trust), and set up and developed the mental health service for people with HIV at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in 1989. In a career including both academic and clinical work, Pepe has held research posts at the University of Oxford, and at Imperial College, London, where he was Reader in Psychiatry. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, and has co-authored and edited five books. Pepe’s current research interests include the psychological and social aspects of ageing with HIV, and the evolution of services for the care of people with HIV in the UK since the start of the epidemic in the 1980s. He has been a founding member (1990) of the International Board of AIDS IMPACT, and continues to be involved in the organization of international meetings about the psychosocial aspects of HIV.

Ian Govendir

Ian has a Master’s in Marketing and has worked as Head of Individual Giving at British Red Cross, CEO of the British Lung Foundation and head of Development at the National Deaf Children’s Society. He has taught marketing and fund-raising at  Southbank University and the Institute of Fundraising and is a visiting professor at London Metropolitan University. In 2009 he founded the international development charity AIDS Orphan. He also sits on the board of Stop AIDS and is a Council member of the Royal Commonwealth Society. He travels regularly to Kenya and India to visit AIDS Orphan’s project.

Mark Nelson

Professor Nelson is a consultant physician at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London. He trained at Jesus College, Cambridge and Westminster Hospital medical school from where he qualified in 1986. He was appointed Consultant Physician at this hospital in 1991 and a senior lecturer at Imperial College Medical School in 1996. Since that time he has built a large HIV practice with a special interest in HIV in-patient care, co-infection with hepatitis B and C and the clinical utility of new anti-retroviral agents. He sits on the Executive Committee of the British HIV Association where he is co-chair of the guidelines committee for opportunistic infections and the treatment of hepatitis C. He is a member of the Guidelines Committee for Malignancy and Hepatitis co-infection. He is chair of the BHIVA hepatitis special interest group and the newly elected chair of the BHIVA science and education committee. He is a trustee of several charities associated with HIV including the International Association of Physicians in AIDS care (IAPAC). He has been awarded a  visiting professorship at the Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya and most recently the certificate of merit by the government of Vietnam.

Dean Nicholson (Chair)

Dean qualified as an Psychiatric Nurse in 1982, which was the same year he met his partner. After working at St Thomas’s for a year they set up their own residential home for the elderly, in Cambridgeshire. During that time he trained as an HIV counsellor and helped set up and run the Cambridge HIV (AIDS) help-line. This involved face to face counselling as well as answering the phones. He was Chairman for about 2 ½ years but unfortunately had to step down as his partner became unwell. They sold the home and moved back to London. After a period of illness his partner passed. Dean took a year out and did some travelling. He joined Priory Hospital in 1997 and is currently the Therapy Services Manager for the hospital, work he immensely enjoys. He has done quite a bit of training in different types of therapy since starting with there, and feels fortunate to be able to see patients as well as run the services. He was delighted to join River House’s Board in January 2012.

Michael Rayment

Mike Rayment

Mike is a Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV Medicine at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, and works at 10 Hammersmith Broadway, the Kobler Clinic, and on the Ron Johnson inpatient unit.

He is interested in the interplay between sexual health and HIV. Clinical interests include sexual difficulties, HIV testing and prevention, primary HIV infection, and viral hepatitis.

Mike helped establish a routine service of HIV testing patients attending the Emergency Department at Chelsea and Westminster, offering the opportunity of an HIV test to all people attending the Department. The scheme has helped to diagnose more than a hundred people living with HIV and all are now accessing specialist care.

Mike is an avid teacher, and helps to lead the Imperial College medical school module on sexual health, HIV, and infectious diseases. He also runs programmes designed to increase knowledge and awareness of HIV and sexual health issues for local primary and secondary healthcare providers.
He is delighted to have joined the Board at River House.

Chris Rogers (Treasurer)

Chris has a Masters in Metallurgy, followed by a second degree in Management, which led him into working in research for the UK government. This was followed by a move to the Steel industry in Sheffield.

In the late 1970s he started his ordination training in Manchester and, in 1981, was ordained at Derby Cathedral. Initially he worked in Chesterfield, followed by Derby, and then on to his first Rector’s position in a small country parish in Sherwood Forest. This was followed by a post in Burnley and finally into London Diocese in 2000, as Vicar of Ashford (near Heathrow). Having lost a close friend to AIDS in the late 1980s, he got involved with HIV work in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. This continues to date with both the AIDS Orphan charity and, most importantly, River House Trust.

Chris Rogers

Viv Whittingham

Viv recently retired as a Service Manager for Adult Community Social Work in Hammersmith and Fulham and practiced as a social worker in the Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham for more than thirty years. She has been involved with River House and its service users since its inception. She told us…’I am privileged to be a Trustee here and am committed to ensuring that River House continues to thrive as a dynamic community resource.